Dartmouth College is requiring test scores again despite complaints

During the age of COVID-19, colleges all across the country made sending in standardized test scores like the ACT or SAT optional for applicants. This ruling was a relief for those who have difficulty taking tests.

However, Dartmouth College recently announced that it will now be requiring scores again. The change came about from a “new study conducted by the college that found test scores could have helped less advantaged students, including first-generation students and students from low-income families, gain access to the school.” The school believes that requiring applicants to send in their test scores is vital in the acceptance process, while others disagree. 

Dartmouth backs up its reasoning by saying students are “disadvantaged by inequities in the education system” rather than tests. While they do have somewhat of a point, scores are not a test of someone’s readiness for college. 

Standardized test scores look to show your strengths and readiness for college work. Colleges may use the scores in admission decisions and weigh them differently according to the student. However, how can one single test showcase how ready they are for college?

Students all present their skills in different ways. Some students are good at math, some are good at writing, some are good at test-taking and studying. Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses. Being held to the same standards as everyone else is one aspect that prevents colleges from really understanding the person and seeing who they are as a student. 

Admittedly, I am not the best test taker. I have always been opposed to tests and was very pleased with the fact that my college was not requiring test scores. Test scores, in my opinion, are a cumbersome requirement for the application process and make too much of an impact on the student. 

Instead of getting ready for college and focusing on school, you are prepping for a test that is seen to be the answer to all your questions, which in reality means nothing. 

With SAT and ACT scores coming back, I feel the burden of preparing for college will become that much more difficult and persuade the valuable few who are not keen on tests to reconsider their decisions on some schools when looking for college.




Featured photo courtesy of Biology Corner, Flickr